Saturday, November 06, 2004

Compelling Reason For Light Bloggage

Bloggage has been light the last few days because I've been working my butt off getting ready for the Christmas portraits. (Yes, I know it isn't the Christmas season yet. Read on.) In the last two days I've sewed a dress and jacket, vest, pants, and a tie.

It is our family tradition that every year we take Christmas portraits of the kids. We usually do this the end of October or early November, so that we will get the portraits back in time to send out with the Christmas mailing. The Christmas portraits are a big deal; we have been doing them since Tiny Princess was a baby. Every year it seems to get bigger. I make the kids matching clothes according to a pre-selected color scheme. I often start designing the clothes a year in advance, keeping an eye out for fabrics that might be suitable. Then we take the Official Portraits and the clothes go back into the closet until Christmas Day. This way, I can let the kids enjoy themselves in their new clothes on Christmas and not have them worry about keeping them nice for pictures.

The last two years I've put an exhausting effort into the Christmas portraits. The year before last I had to make Sonshine's suit entirely from scratch, because I could find neither a suit nor a suit pattern in his size. I had to draft my own pattern, and I wasn't terribly thrilled with the way the collar turned out, but it was OK. He ended up with a lovely double-breasted black wool suit. (After that I started buying him machine washable pre-made used suits on eBay.) Tiny Princess wore the Poinsettia Dress that year. Last year, Sonshine wore a double-breasted gray pinstripe suit, and Tiny Princess got the Snowflake Dress, which took hours and hours of laborious piecing (every bit of that snowflake design in the skirt is a separate piece of sheer material).

After last year's sewing turned out to be an ordeal, I decided that this year I'd keep the styles simple, since I knew I'd have three kids this time. We decided this year that we would include us parents in the portraits as well. The colors are navy and burgundy. Sonshine has a navy blue pinstripe suit. I bought a navy pinstripe suit for Favorite Husband, and I made one for Bagel as well. (Yes, I'm aware of how weird it is that a four-month-old would have a navy blue pinstripe suit, but it's just soooo cuuuuuuute!! and the boys all match!!!) I bought a burgundy dress at a thrift store, and I gave similar styling to Tiny Princess' dress, which is always the showpiece of the portraits. Hers is a two-piece dress and jacket set, made of burgundy crepe-back satin. The dress is a plain sheath dress with short sleeves, with the satin side out. The long jacket has the crepe side out, is styled with a collar and flat-felled seams, and buttons above the waist with two gold buttons, open at the bottom, with satin cuffs. It's elegant and understated.

We all went last night to get haircuts. Bagel got his first haircut. Tiny Princess and Sonshine got trims, and I got a different style than I've had before, about chin length, rather longer in the front than in the back. This morning I starched the shirts (yes, my tiny baby will be wearing a starched white shirt with his navy blue pinstripe suit...). I hope all goes well with the portraits today. I'll post pics when I have them.